Well, in all honesty I don't think any of us are expecting very much from this game. This isn't one we're hoping to take points from, and though that would be lovely, getting blanked wouldn't really change the calculation all that much. Personally, I'm hoping to see an encouraging performance and perhaps a peek at the new signings. Yacouba Sylla is in mid-season form and will likely be fit for as long as Paul Lambert wishes to play him, but Simon Dawkins hasn't been active since the late fall and probably isn't fit for more than a late change-of-pace appearance if that.
In other games that might have some impact on Villa, QPR takes on Norwich City in the early game, with Rangers looking to being their charge out of the danger zone and the Canaries trying to avoid getting dragged down into the muck. Reading hosts Sunderland and could really up the pressure on Villa with a result, while Wigan and Southampton face off in clash that doesn't have an immediately favorable outcome for Villa.
Aston Villa Starting XI: Brad Guzan, Matthew Lowton, Ron Vlaar [c], Ciaran Clark, Joe Bennett, Ashley Westwood, Karim El Ahmadi, Gabby Agbonlahor, Charles N'Zogbia, Andreas Weimann, Christian Benteke.